With all the busyness, I finally got time(actually made time) to just sit and take some pictures. I wouldn’t even call it that, it was more like get back to why I love photography. To see things in a new light, a different angle, or even look at things and really see them. What am I talking about? I was playing around with my macro lens. It’s easy to spend hours with this lens on just any boring object. Why is it fascinating? You see things you’ve never noticed before. You are able to bring the viewers into your world and show them exactly what to look at. How do you do that? Let me tell you. These aren’t the rules for taking macro shots, just suggestions.
High Aperture: Macro lens’ have a very, very, very, very small depth of field(meaning the amount of the object that will be in focus). One part of the object may be in focus, but a few millimeters away, it gets so blurred out(bokeh). To help get more of the object into focus, increase the aperture(make the f-number go larger). By doing this, you will increase your depth of field…but at the same time, this makes the opening of the lens smaller, which will allow less light…hmmmm…this leads to the next point.
Good Lighting: I increased my aperture to around f10 or greater for my shots. This means, without a powerful light, the picture will turn out pretty much black. So, I went to a couple of friends and borrowed some LED lights. I have flashes, but the reason I wanted a constant light source is to see the ‘final’ look before taking the picture. As an experiment, take an shiny object like a ring and place it on the table. Turn on the flashlight on your phone and begin to inspect your ring. Move the flashlight to different sides which will create unique looks to the ring. If I used a flash, I would see how the light hits the object after the picture is taken. Then I would have to readjust and try it again. But with a constant light, I am able to see what angle I like before the picture is taken. As I set the aperture and the light, I set the lens to manual focus and took aim…
A Steady Hand: Now…I don’t know about you, but I don’t really have a steady hand. And with a depth of field so small, it is so easy to get out of focus from the motion of your hands. To make sure I didn’t get blur, I turned up my shutter speed. This will make the picture darker because now you are decreasing the amount of light that enters through the lens. To compensate I increased the ISO and the intensity of the LED’s. I rested one hand on the table and the camera on top of it while I took most of my shots. The easy way to get it steady would be to use a tripod…But who has time to walk 20 feet to the other room and grab a tripod, right?
So that’s what I did to get these picts. And then some post processing to make the blacks blacker and the details a little more crisp.
Looking through the picts afterward on the computer, I began to notice texture, dirt, and scratches on the objects I was photographing that I never noticed before. I wore my watches everyday, yet I never really looked at it. I wore rings daily and constantly looked at my hands while typing at work or when writing. Yet I never noticed the amount of wear on them. When a photo shows you something that you didn’t notice before, it becomes even more interesting. You inspect it and are awed by the fact that you are seeing something new. I couldn’t help looking at the pictures over and over and see the details I’ve missed…Yea…I wanted to start taking more and more pictures of objects to see what I may have overlooked. It’s so easy to let details slip by unnoticed. Whether that detail be a coworker you don’t pay attention to, a neighbor you failed to say hi to, a selfish want that has taken a toll on a relationship, or maybe it’s your attitude…Now that you see it, what are you going to do about it?
“I’ve got a list that goes on and on.
It’s overflowing with memories of everything that I’ve been doing wrong
And I’ll be the first to say, I’ve chased after so many foolish things looking for a
way to kill the pain.” – Ryan Stevenson, Song: Holding Nothing Back